Facebook Brings Enhanced Messaging, @facebook.com Emails

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook recently confirmed its enhanced messaging system, Facebook Messages.

Officially launched November 15th, the system is designed to channel email, instant messaging and SMS text messages (cell phone messages) into a single @facebook.com email address so that users can manage their communications through a single inbox. (Source: eweek.com)

@Facebook.Com On-the-Way

The idea of the service, which builds on the existing Facebook messaging feature, is to break down the barriers between different forms of communication such as email, site messaging, live chat, instant-messaging and the text message.

Instead, one Facebook user can simply send a message through the site by typing the recipient's name. The message is then delivered by whatever method the recipient has set as their preferred means of communication. Users will also have the option of setting up an @facebook.com address that can receive email from people who aren't currently Facebook members.

The system will then collate all communications between each pair of users so that they can easily look back to track an exchange of messages, even if that involved multiple forms of communication. The company says the new system isn't designed as a rival to existing email services. (Source: facebook.com)

New Filtering System Separates Friends From Strangers

There will also be a new filtering system for receiving messages in Facebook. By default, messages from confirmed friends on the site will go into the inbox, while messages from other users (including those sent by non-Facebook users through the @facebook.com address) will go into a separate "Other" folder. There'll be the option for more detailed filtering of messages. (Source: computerworld.com)

Although Facebook claims this isn't intended to be an "email killer," it looks very much as if the company hopes people will use the @facebook.com address in place of a traditional email account.

Privacy Dispute Inevitable

While the system could bring added convenience, there are likely to be some serious concerns over data protection and privacy given the company's previous history. There will be close scrutiny of the terms and conditions involved in the new messaging service, particularly regarding claims over accessing data in private messages for advertising purposes.

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